The other day Dan made homemade Big Macs. Have I mentioned that it's true love? (I mean between me and Dan, not me and the burger. Well, actually...) Dan and I aren't shy about our fast food habits. Yes, I love and appreciate a meal made carefully at a restaurant with all locally-sourced, organic and seasonal ingredients, and I recognize that this is the gold standard in terms of my health, goodness for the environment and lots, lots more reasons. But I absolutely love a Big Mac every now and then. (For Dan, the occasional trip to Pizzeria Uno's is a must.) The food isn't the best for you nutritionally, but there is certainly something to be said for nourishing the soul and there are few meals as emotionally healing and nostalgic for me as a Big Mac and fries. Which is exactly what McDonald's wants me to say, but that's America! Moving on...
So, when Dan told me he was going to make homemade Big Macs, I squealed and said "yes, OK, let's go grocery shopping." (Does this make him a "doodie?" Just kidding; I hate that stupid, sexist concept.) Making these burgers at home was so smart. Eliminate the post-McDonald's is this meal completely unethical? guilt and methinks a nice chunk of the sugar, preservatives, and low-grade meat that surely gives the real Big Mac its signature I-hate-myself zing, but still eat a Big Mac!? I'm lovin' it.
Dan had seen this video for making homemade Big Macs, in which the Executive Chef at McDonald's really nicely breaks down the process. Ultimately, most of the magic comes from the McDonald's Special Sauce (duh). In terms of the meat, it's important to cook very thin patties (1.5 ounces, seasoned with a little salt and pepper), which cook very fast-- a major plus when you're running a fast food joint or have a salivating girlfriend ready to pounce. Otherwise, just make sure the rest of your ingredients resemble the McDonald's style and you're in business: finely diced sweet onion, sweet hamburger pickles, shredded iceberg lettuce, no-nonsense American "cheese" singles, and a sesame seed bun (you'll slice the top bun into two, so you can have a club-style sandwich).
We pretty much guesstimated the proportions for the sauce, since the video is unspecific. This recipe filled an old 8-oz jam jar we had about 3/4 of the way, and we were able to leave the sauce in the fridge, like any other condiment, ready to go when the Big Mac craving struck!
McDonald's Big Mac Special Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish 2 Tbsp yellow mustard 1 tsp white wine vinegar 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp onion powder 2 tsp paprika
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together!